The theme of this year’s Operation Joshua is Blessed to be a Blessing. This was very relevant to the turbulence at the beginning of our day. Before today we encountered people who rejected the word of God, some did it with zeal and others rejected it in a little nicer way. The people in our first village today rejected us with great determination and animosity, which left us discouraged. Rejection became hostility, then physical contact, so we left our first village of the day feeling defeated.
It was a good thing we did not keep wallowing in our failure as even this minor set back helped build us up. One of our team members shared a verse while we were driving to our second stop. Matthew 5:11 says, “Blessed are you when others insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” This encouraged us even more then when we started. After a prayer, we moved on to our second village with a new mindset. The Orthodox priest there wanted us to leave but our translator and fellow servant, Louisa, didn’t back down. Although this village was not much different from the first, we were still able to distribute New Testament Bibles to almost every house.
After the not-so-friendly experience with the first two villages, our team decided to take a lunch and bathroom break so we stopped by a gas station. We quickly found out there was no restroom. We asked the worker if there was anywhere nearby that we could use the restroom. He pointed to a small cafe across the street where we were welcomed with kindness by a family. They were very hospitable and let us use their restroom and eat our lunch. We were very blessed to share the Gospel with the family and give them a Bible. We even had the privilege to pray with them. Even though we distributed fewer Bibles at the first two villages, we know that God had a plan that we didn’t know about. He led us to a family that needed to hear the gospel!
As we continued with our day, we had much friendly encounters. We truly felt God using the people in these villages to bless and encourage us. One cafe owner served our team watermelon while the Gospel message was being presented to some patrons.
Although our day was a roller coaster ride, we know that we serve a faithful God who watches over his people and fills them with strength and joy!